Comedy from Love Island at Cambridge Junction
PUBLISHED: 11:23 19 October 2016 | UPDATED: 11:23 19 October 2016
Born in 1988, former law student Iain Stirling is perfectly placed to comment on the issues – and prejudices – faced by ‘millennials’, something he does with vigour on his current tour, which kicked off in London on October 12.
“There’s a lot of stuff about millennials in this show and how we’re perceived,” explains the talented Scot, who is also well known as a children’s TV presenter and for providing the quirky narration to ITV’s Love Island. “There’s a lot of stuff about our generation being apathetic, self-centred and vain.
“I thought I’d deal with that in terms of selfie culture – are we getting more vain, or is there more pressure because of social media to look good in photos? And the idea of being lazy, when in fact we’ve got to work more hours for the same money, relatively speaking...
“Also, the fact we’ve had tuition fees come in and buy-to-let mortgages are making it borderline impossible to buy a house in London. So it’s all that sort of stuff, with hopefully a funny edge on it, rather than me just ranting!”
Is there any truth to the widely-held belief that millennials are supremely health conscious and neither drink nor smoke? Stirling replies: “If you take university, for example, I’ve done university gigs for the past seven years and if you go to a fresher’s week gig, even four years ago they’d be very boozy affairs.
“Now there’s a lot more coffee drinking, not definite heavy drinking. I remember being at Stirling University for fresher’s last year and there were three nightclubs on campus. Now two of them have been converted into coffee shops.
“If you go on social media, I remember when I first started on Facebook, you couldn’t move for photos of your nights out. You go on something like Instagram now and it’s people in the gym looking attractive, working out – they all use filters. I definitely think there’s been a gear change in that respect.”
Revealing how he prepares for his generally family-friendly gigs, the 28-year-old states: “In the last few years I’ve essentially stopped writing stand-up, in the sense that I’ll do bullet points. I’ll talk the ideas through with a friend, or some friends, and then I’ll go to a new material night where the audience haven’t paid much mondey to get in and say those ideas on stage and see what comes from it. That’s the general idea, anyway. You just go out and say it enough times until the nuggest of the idea gets fleshed out.”
As mentioned, Stirling’s delightful Scottish brogue can be heard on reality TV show, Love Island, a post he has held since the series was revived in 2015. “I find it fascinating,” he says of the job. “It’s really funny and interesting watching a character develop on screen.
“People do, to an extent, start to forget that the cameras exist and I think every show’s got a really unique element to it. If you focus on someone to that extent for six weeks, you can really unearth some interesting things about people. I just like the whole human aspect of the show.
“There’s a real voyeuristic element to it, but I do think there’s something really fascinating about the human condition when you look at it in-depth, which I quite like.”
Asked if he would ever consider going on a programme like that as a contestant, were he not famous, Stirling muses: “I don’t know that I would – I don’t think I’d really trust myself. I don’t think I’ve got the mental discipline to not behave like an idiot at some point over the six-week period...
“I think I’m a pretty nice, calm guy, but I couldn’t keep up the facade for six weeks. I think that’s why I like stand-up – I can just be this character for an hour and then leave.”